I'm Mike McQueen, teacher librarian and founder of http://www.GettingBoysToRead.com. Like many school districts, we are in a financial crises. Our school board recently proposed to eliminate ALL 20+ middle school teacher librarians and also cut all 90+ elementary schools to half time. Since we are the biggest district in all of Colorado, we worry this will cause other districts to follow suit. We launched an online movement and are going to do our best to put up a good fight.
If possible, please visit our Facebook page and "Like" us http://www.facebook.com/SupportSchoolLibraries . Adding a positive comment and sharing with your friends would help our morale as well. The board finalizes the budget soon so your timely support would be greatly appreciated!
In California, it seems to be hit and miss with technology. Because our district is so large, 4th largest in CA, nothing comes cheaply. They did, however, just buy United Streaming and NetTrekker for all schools. After years of running multiple circulation systems, we are now moving to Follett Destiny for the entire district (of over 100 schools).
Now hardware is another matter. I am running very old computers and it is difficult to get new ones. I think this is a fight that many libraries have, though.
I am really enjoying the program. I am learning only that there is so much more to learn and to internalize. The one thing about Zoho that stood out in my mind was that it allowed the students to store files there that were accesible from any computer. Our students can't use their floppies, flash drives or CDs on school computers. They are only allowed to use a file on the school server which is only accessible at school. Zoho also has many different apps available for free. Do you know how to join a particular group on TeacherLibrarian?
I think we are pretty forward thinking but we are also large. While the 5 of us work together programmatically, I am also directly assigned to 19 elementary schools.
I think being an advocate for change is always an uphill battle. When I worked in a school, I celebrated the little victories and tried to be patient. It sounds like you are doing what I would do...modeling, spending some time with your vanguard teachers. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was going to be the hook for teachers because for some, they need to start small with something that they will experience success fairly immediately. And sometimes, I approach them with a technology tool that they can use personally and then work them into using it instructionally.
I don't feel I am giving you an new ideas...just know that I have been there (and really, to be honest, am still there). :-)
Thanks for the complement on the webpage, it is always a work in progress. Actually, I use Frontpage... and alot of time. I am playing around with web page widgets and found a lot of fun stuff. The problem with it being continually in flux, is that it is not as refined as yours. I love your layout!
I do have an exciting position which I love. I do not have a library background. The model our district uses is a collaborative model between our library media specialists and computer resource specialists (site based technology integration teachers). We call it the Educational Technology Team. Their goal is to work collaboratively with teachers to integrate information literacy and technology skills into the core curricular areas. There are 5 of us who are coordinators of the program...right now our current make up is 2 with library backgrounds and 3 with technology backgrounds. And just like we advocate the team approach in schools, we work as a team to support the program. I taught 5th grade and then was a computer resource specialist for 6 years before becoming a coordinator. Please let me know if you have any other questions.